For Dr. Rubylinda Zickafoose, becoming a teacher meant fulfilling her childhood dream of one day teaching her mother to read. The child of migrant farm workers, Zickafoose overcame poverty and negative stereotyping and graduated with honors from the University of South Florida, a journey that was chronicled by legendary news anchor Dan Rather in his 2001 book, The American Dream: Stories from the Heart of Our Nation.
Dr. Zickafoose served the teachers, parents, and children of Manatee County Schools for almost 30 years. Her passion and determination to serve her community come from her humble beginnings as a migrant field worker. She also continues to influence young teacher candidates as an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. As Director of Language and Literacy at Manatee School For the Arts, she is currently building the infrastructure for a potential K-5 Spanish Immersion school. This work promises to unify the diverse community where the school resides and provides an accelerated academic path for students to become Bilingual, Biliterate, and Culturally Competent leaders so they can define their American Dream.
1991 University of South Florida, B.A.